Senator Tom Killion E-Newsletter

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Deana’s Law Passes Senate 

In Memory of Deana Eckman

Last year, I proposed Deana’s Law to protect our families from repeat drunk drivers. I am pleased to report that this week the Pennsylvania Senate passed this important legislation.

Deana’s Law is named after Deana Eckman, a Brookhaven resident who was tragically killed in February of 2019 in a car accident by a drunk driver who had five previous DUIs. Deana’s husband, Chris Eckman, was severely injured in this accident. The individual who killed Deana was convicted last year of his sixth DUI and other serious charges related to this horrific crash.

Deana’s Law would do several things to discourage repeat drunk driving in Pennsylvania, including:

  • Requiring Continuous Alcohol Monitoring Devices in the form of innovative bracelet technology that automatically notifies officials when repeat DUI offenders consume alcohol in violation of court directives. This allows law enforcement to prevent these offenders from getting behind the wheel again while intoxicated.
  • Substantially increasing the levels of felony convictions for repeat DUI offenders, resulting in additional jail time and monetary fines.
  • Doubling the time period repeat DUI offenders must use ignition interlock devices on their vehicles.
  • Directing the Pennsylvania State Police, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts to formulate recommendations for using DUI Courts around the state. DUI Courts specialize in drunk driving cases to better focus on the appropriate sentencing and treatment of DUI offenders.
  • Prohibiting concurrent sentencing for some repeat offenders so they are not able to take advantage of serving sentences for multiple DUI convictions at the same time. This will result in penalizing these offenders over a longer period.

Deana’s Law is officially Senate Bill 773, in honor of the month and year of Deana’s birth. The legislation now goes to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for consideration.

Dangerous repeat DUI offenders have caused unimaginable pain for countless families across Pennsylvania for far too long. Deana’s Law would help end the revolving door system that allows these individuals to so easily return to our streets and threaten the safety of our loved ones, and I will continue to work diligently to get this bill to the Governor for his signature.

You will find media stories about Deana’s Law passing the Senate HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

It’s been a productive last few days in Harrisburg, including Senate passage of my important Deana’s Law legislation. Check out my Session Week-In Review video for the details!

1/29/20 - Weekly Session Update

Attention Korean War Veterans

U.S. Senator Pat Toomey and I are inviting eligible Korean War veterans to apply for the prestigious Ambassador for Peace Medal.

To be eligible, veterans must have served in Korea at any time during the period of June 25, 1950 through July 27, 1953. U.S. Navy veterans are eligible if their vessel was assigned to Korean waters during this specific time. UN peacekeeping forces assigned to Korea through December 31, of 1955 are also eligible. 

The Ambassador for Peace Medal was created by the government of South Korea and will be awarded to veterans in a future presentation ceremony in our area honoring recipients.

Eligible veterans must complete an application and provide a copy of their DD214 for verification purposes by the Korean Consulate. The short application form and mailing instructions for the form can be downloaded from my website at The applications are also available at my district offices.

In addition, medals will be provided posthumously to family members with proper documentation.

The deadline for the application is Friday, April 3, 2020.

We shared Gavin Snyder’s story before Christmas. The Rustin High School freshman Gavin Snyder put on massive holiday light display of more than 4,000 lights, inflatables and other attractions.

Even more impressive, he raised $3,000 and more than two carloads of supplies and bedding for the Brandywine Valley SPCA! Way to go, Gavin!

You can find this story in the Daily Local News HERE. 


I enjoyed lunch last week with new Kennett Township Manager Eden Ratliff. We discussed a number of issues including transportation, infrastructure, storm water management and fiscal and budgetary issues.

Staying connected to those who serve in municipal government is an important part of making sure your priorities are addressed by state government!

Hot or Cold – Pets Must Be Protected From Extremes

Temperature extremes, both hot and cold, can be life-threatening for illegally tethered dogs, according to the PA Department of Agriculture and the Humane Society of the United States.  Libre’s Law, passed by the Pennsylvania Legislature in 2017, restricts tethering to less than 30 minutes when the Fahrenheit temperature drops below 32 degrees and rises above 90 degrees. 

Dogs and cats in imminent danger from temperature extremes while left in an unattended motor vehicle can be rescued under Pennsylvania’s Motor Vehicle Extreme Heat Protection Act signed into law in 2018.  After a reasonable search by law enforcement and safety professionals for the vehicle’s owner, Act 104 of 2018 permits rescue of an endangered pet, without fear of liability for damages to the vehicle or its contents as a result of the effort.  Following the rescue, a note is required to inform the vehicle owner where to pick up their pet. 

Report animal cruelty to your County Humane Society Officer, local or PA State Police, or your County District Attorney.  Penalties for violating PA’s dog law range from a summary offense to a misdemeanor of the second or third degree to a felony of the third degree.

Assistance for Veterans

I partner with the Pennsylvania American Legion every month to assist local veterans at my Brookhaven office. A representative from this organization will be helping veterans with issues on:

Date: Wednesday, February 26th

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Location: Senator Killion’s Brookhaven Office, 4110 Edgmont Avenue, Brookhaven, PA

I encourage veterans and their families who have questions about benefits and programs to schedule an appointment during these assistance hours. Appointments can be made by contacting my office at (610) 447 – 3163. This service is offered the fourth Wednesday of each month.


Always Here to Help

My offices provide many services to families in our area. Here are some of the ways we can help.

  • Unemployment compensation issues
  • SEPTA Key Senior Photo IDs
  • Free notary service
  • Pennsylvania birth certificates
  • PennDOT assistance with drivers licensing questions
  • Information on financial assistance for higher education
  • Assistance with preparation of Property Tax/Rent Rebate applications
  • Citations from the Pennsylvania Senate for notable local accomplishments and milestones
  • Assistance with PA insurance programs: Medical Assistance and CHIP
  • Fishing and hunting information
  • Pennsylvania personal income tax forms
  • Pennsylvania road maps
  • Requests for copies of legislation, bills and regulations
  • Requests for literature for students and senior citizens
  • Tours of the State Capitol for individuals or groups
  • Assistance with state agency issues

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